New York City is an island of reinvention. Running from a failed relationship in Long Beach, after originally running away from Staten Island, I erased years when I moved to Manhattan. It was like they had never happened, there were no painful memories waiting around each corner. The city was home, a familiar refuge since I was a child. J. ran away from the south, he has his reasons, I still don’t know all…and along the way we collided. And he did collide with the sidewalk after a drunken cartwheel the night of our first date –that completely wiped out a street vendor’s book display. I was instantly smitten by the acrobatic attempt to impress me.
Our passion for change and success fuels a part of our relationship. So it’s not surprising that during our coupledom, we’ve gone through half a dozen jobs collectively, always striving for a little more. When I met J. he was at Columbia, and now I’m back in grad school at NYU. I’ve always been one of those to brush off grad school as something “Not necessary”, and praise on-the-job experience. But after recently working for a few start-ups with little leadership and daily-changing business plans, I’ve only learned “How not to do it.”
Fueled by J’s intellect and subscriptions to Fortune, Forbes and Sports Illustrated, I’m back in school and about to begin a grad school internship at Major League Baseball. Back to sports, the only industry I’ve ever truly LOVED working in. Without J.’s support, it wouldn’t be possible. For his part, he is now a licensed real estate agent working with one of my former roommates and his boss whom he met at a July 4th party. Strange how the dots connect so many years later.
Each time we reinvent ourselves, we inevitably reinvent our relationship, a shifting of priorities and adapting to new timetables. For now, this is the path I’ve chosen, another zigzag on my blueprint. I refuse to spend eight or more hours a day in a place that suffocates my integrity, my creativity and my soul — I don’t care how much the paycheck is. It took me too long to learn that lesson. How does J. feel about being with a Grad School Student & Consultant vs. a Director with a six-figure salary? I’m sure he misses my monetary contributions, but I was a cranky, stressed-out bitch. So was it really worth it?
The tables have shifted at least for this semester. J. will be bringing home more of the bacon and I know he can do it. Real Estate is his passion. And now it’s time to get back to mine — Sports & Entertainment.
No matter what trials we go through, I always tell him, “I’ve had ten more years of life then they were given, I am going to make the most of it.” Sending love to heaven to my high school and college friends lost on September 11. Joseph Doyle, Mike D’Auria and Noell Maerz. We think of you every day, not just today.